DUBLIN | By Sean Duffy | With fears surrounding the Eurozone, Russia and the BRICS economies, the only certainty about the year 2015 appears to be that it will continue a period of global economic uncertainty. The Corner takes a look at some of the issues and factors that are likely to dominate the headlines in the year ahead.
SAO PAULO | By Benjamin Cole via Marcus Nunes’s Historinhas | The results are in, and it appears the Fed’s use of QE—faltering, dithering, at times mindlessly circumscribed in advance—was moderately successful in helping the U.S. climb out of recession. Europe is still mired in econo-gloom, courtesy of the ECB’s monetary noose around its neck. Japan may only now be fighting its way out of perma-gloom by way of aggressive QE. The U.S., in contrast, has posted slow growth since the end of the 2008-09 “great recession”.
MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | In a blow to PM Shinzo Abe, the Japanese inflation rate fell to its lowest level in over a year in November (0.7% from a 0.9% rise the previous month, according to government data released Friday), complicating efforts of the central bank to end more than a decade of chronic price falls. Does this mean, as stimulus sceptics put it, that the Abenomics are doomed? Advisor to the new government and one of the 100 Most Influential People for Japan according to Nikkei Business, William H. Saito believes we have been quick to judge their strategy. As he explained to me, they have “many plan B’s left.”
WASHINGTON | By Pablo Pardo | Do you want a Who’s Who of the Republican talking heads? If so, go to this list. Those are the luminaries that asked the Federal Reserve not to go ahead with the Quantitative Easing in 2010, for fear of inflation and currency debasement. Four year later, inflation is nowhere to be seen, and, according to the IMF, the US dollar has strengthened its role in the monetary system.
LONDON | UBS analysts | UBS expects the ECB to widen its asset purchase programme to include corporate, parastatal and sovereign bonds on 5 March 2015. Our base case is for €1 trillion of sovereign bond purchases to be undertaken over a two-year time horizon. In this note, we examine how a broadening of the ECB’s QE programme is likely to impact the UK economy and sterling-denominated asset classes.
By Giuseppe Maraffino (Barclays) | On Thursday, December 11, the ECB will carry out its second TLTRO. The allotment results will be out at about 10:15 London time. The size of the new liquidity injected will be clear on the settlement of the operation, on Wednesday, 17 December, which is also the settlement day of next week’s MRO and of the weekly 3y LTRO repayment. However, the announcement on Friday, December 12, of next week’s 3y LTRO repayment will provide some insights on the new liquidity injected.
MADRID | By JP Marín Arrese | Markets took Mario Draghi´s encouraging promises at face value a couple of weeks ago. However yesterday’s ECB Council meeting failed to endorse any move to bolster the QE strategy. Super-Mario was only able to renew the central bank´s firm commitment to act should economic prospects markedly deteriorate. Investors felt utterly upset and reacted accordingly.
MADRID | The Corner | The ECB avoided taking any new measures to fight stagnation in the eurozone, although its growth forecast is significantly lower than 3 months ago. As Mario Draghi announced on Thursday, the Frankfurt-based institution intends (he said, using that word instead of ‘expects’) to expand its balance sheet by $1Tr, yet it won’t act before 2015, as many were expecting. A sovereign QE, despite the Bundesbank’s opposition, is a closer possibility, but the Governing Council will wait until next year to assess the impact of the existing policy measures and of falling oil prices.
MADRID | The Corner | Even though the sovereign QE is present in the markets’ dynamics, it is likely that the ECB will first bet on a program of corporate debt purchase and then wait to see what happens. Experts at Morgan Stanley say that the likelihood of this plan is 30% and that it would have an impact on the households’ wealth as well as providing greater financial stability. However, the program would also have problems when it finishes, because equities don’t expire and the ECB wouldn’t be able to have those shares ad infinitum.
Guest Post by Thomas Harjes and Fabio Fois (Barclays) | Despite the softer November inflation print and some likely downward revisions in the ECB’s inflation and growth outlook next week, we do not expect the ECB to announce further policy easing when the Governing Council meets on Thursday, 4 December. We believe the ECB is going to wait at least another month.